Category Archives: Students

Student collaboration addresses fall risk for seniors

Three departments within East Carolina University’s College of Allied Health Sciences recently spent a day helping local seniors while teaching students the importance of collaborating with other disciplines.

The unique interprofessional senior fall risk assessment training exercise took place at the Black Jack Free Will Baptist Church on July 14. Students from the Occupational Therapy (OT), Physical Therapy (PT) and Physician’s Assistant (PA) programs were placed into groups composed of at least one student from each department and assigned patients. Senior citizens who volunteered to participate were evaluated to determine any unknown factors they may have that put them at a higher risk for falling.

Students assist a volunteer as she takes an eye exam during the College of Allied Health Sciences’ senior fall risk assessment training exercise on July 14.(Photo by Alyssa De Santis Figiel)

Students assist a volunteer as she takes an eye exam during the College of Allied Health Sciences’ senior fall risk assessment training exercise on July 14.(Photo by Alyssa De Santis Figiel)

“As seniors, they’ll have different health conditions that could result in an increase for fall risk. So by participating in this free activity, they’re learning about what those potential risks are and also how to address them to reduce their chances for falling,” said Dr. Jennifer Radloff, an assistant professor for the Department of Occupational Therapy at ECU and one of the event organizers.

Evaluations included PA students studying the seniors’ medical history to look for potential fall indicators, such as medications that may cause dizziness; PT students administering a mini balance assessment and OT students doing a vision assessment. Students also analyzed the seniors’ ability to use stairs, transition from sitting to standing, and turn quickly when walking. Those who were found to have greater chances of falling were provided with resources to continue their care and fall prevention.

The training exercise is noteworthy as it combines community service with education and gives students an opportunity to speak with others in different professions to discuss and compare each discipline’s responsibilities.

“I learned a lot of things I could incorporate into my own practice even though it’s not directly part of our assessment as a physician’s assistant,” said Kasey Briggs, a PA student who participated in the fall assessments.

Radloff praised the event as an excellent pre-emptive learning experience before students begin their required internships. Students expressed their appreciation for being given the opportunity to work collaboratively with other professions in a non-simulated experience.

“It helps solidify the fact that for patient care, it’s a team approach. Each person has skills to contribute,” said PT student Josh Schiemann.

PA student Sydney Pilgrim connected the experience to her previous work in healthcare.

“I actually worked in an ICU before I came here, and it was really cool because we did actually have PTs, OTs and PAs working together in the same unit. So it was nice to incorporate that into our studies because it really is like that in the real world,” Pilgrim said.

A third-year PT student who participated last year, Amalia Kondyles, returned to observe this year’s event and reflect on the value of the experience.

“I got to see the students learn things they didn’t learn in the classroom,” Kondyles said. “We’ve learned how to conduct these tests, but to actually do it on a real patient that doesn’t know how the test works, you start to realize the certain cues that don’t make sense. You see the students learn how to be PTs.”

If you would like to volunteer as a patient in next year’s event, please contact Dr. Jennifer Radloff at or Dr. Kim Stokes at


-by Angela Todd, University Communications

Student Health Services Achieves AAAHC Accreditation

East Carolina University’s Student Health Services (SHS) has been re-accredited through 2020 by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

ECU’s SHS offers primary health care services to enrolled students and handles more than 30,000 student visits each year in clinics on main campus and the health sciences campus.

Accredited since 2002, the designation means SHS has met nationally recognized standards for quality health care through an independent, external evaluation. More than 5,000 ambulatory health care organizations across the United States are accredited by AAAHC.

“This is an important milestone in the continuing growth and success of our health care organization,” said Dr. LaNika Wright, director of ECU SHS. “Pursuing accreditation shows our commitment to providing the highest levels of quality care to our patients, and the same high level of quality in our business practices. Achieving accreditation by AAAHC is proof that we have met the rigorous standards of a nationally recognized third party.”

Organizations seeking the three-year accreditation undergo an extensive self-assessment and on-site survey by AAAHC physicians, nurses and administrators who are actively involved in ambulatory health care. The survey is consultative and educational, presenting best practices to help an organization improve its care and services.

“Going through the process reiterates that we are a health care organization in pursuit of excellence,” Wright said. “We hold ourselves to high standards and desire to provide the highest quality of care. SHS is comprised of some of the finest employees on ECU’s campus and I am proud to be a part of this team.”

For more information, call LaNika Wright at 252-328-6841 or visit


Contact: LaNika L. Wright, director of ECU Student Health Services, or 252-328-6841

ECU alumna named NC Presidential Scholar

East Carolina University alumna Katie Stanley is one of four recent graduates from across the state named a Presidential Scholar for the 2017-18 school year by the University of North Carolina General Administration.

UNC President Margaret Spellings announced the appointment July 20.

Presidential Scholars provide a range of professional functions for the UNC General Administration. Scholars have regular interaction with senior leadership and members of the system’s Board of Governors and help research, write and implement policy.

 Left to right, Honors College Dean David White, Katie Stanley and EC Scholars director Todd Fraley celebrate during the Honors College graduation ceremony in May. Stanley has been named a NC Presidential Scholar at the UNC General Administration. (contributed photo)

Left to right, Honors College Dean David White, Katie Stanley and EC Scholars director Todd Fraley celebrate during the Honors College graduation ceremony in May. Stanley has been named a NC Presidential Scholar at the UNC General Administration.
(contributed photo)

A political science major and Greenville native, Stanley’17 was a member of the Honors College and Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society at ECU. Stanley plans to pursue a master’s degree in public policy with the goal of working in state government. Stanley previously interned for Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representative Dean Arp (R-Union).

“We were thrilled to learn about Katie’s appointment as a Presidential Scholar and look forward to hearing about all the great work she will accomplish in this role,” said Dr. David White, dean of the ECU Honors College. “Katie’s story is an example of how successful our Honors College students are, and how often they make us proud with their personal and professional achievements after graduating.”

The Presidential Scholars were selected among May 2017 UNC system graduates who demonstrated leadership skills, strong motivation, intellectual curiosity and ability to take risks, according to a news release. Previous scholars have worked on assignments from General Administration departments including legal, advancement, academic affairs and communications.

“The Presidential Scholars program allows some of our most talented graduates to hone professional skills and gain real working experience in higher education,” Spellings said. “Scholars also have the unique opportunity to explore and understand the inner workings of an institution that has helped transform our great state.”


-by Cole Dittmer, University Communications

Fulbright Scholar fulfills dream of studying abroad

Fulbright Scholar Farisal Bagsit had dreamed of studying abroad for years but turned down opportunities in the past due to personal obligations. When she was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in 2016, Bagsit knew she had to take the opportunity to leave her native Philippines to travel to the United States.

“It’s a bit far, but I was told if you really want rigid training you go to the U.S.,” said Bagsit.

Bagsit came to East Carolina University’s coastal resource management program to pursue her Ph.D. in social science and coastal policy through the Fulbright Scholar Program awarded through the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. According to the Fulbright website, it is the U.S.’s flagship international educational exchange program that sponsors student exchanges in approximately 160 countries worldwide. Students are chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential.

Before coming to the U.S., Bagsit worked for seven years as a researcher at the University of the Philippines Visayas, where she received her undergraduate degree in marine fisheries and master’s degree in marine affairs. After completing her studies at ECU, she she hopes to return to the to the same university as a faculty member.

Fulbright Scholar Farisal Bagsit (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Fulbright Scholar Farisal Bagsit (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Bagsit’s research centers around small-scale fisheries. She is also interested in studying the ripple effect of fishery closures in her home country.

Dr. David Griffith, interim director for the Institute for Coastal Science and Policy, is Bagsit’s adviser. He said she is very motivated and has already fleshed out her doctoral dissertation. The topic of choice involves the social and economic impacts of closures in the Filipino sardine fishery.

“By the end of her first year she had a full proposal drafted with the flexibility to respond to political developments in the Philippines,” said Griffith.

Bagsit said the fishery closures began in 2011 but the effects are just now being realized in parts of her country.

“I want to see how the closures effect people’s livelihoods and economics in the community,” said Bagsit.

Her first year in the program has been demanding and Bagsit admits she didn’t have much time to explore Greenville. After completing the first summer session of classes, she took a trip to the beach and returned home for a few weeks to visit her husband and three children before returning to complete her second year. She hopes to attend her first ECU football game this fall.

“This is a good opportunity to experience American culture,” said Bagsit.

For more information about study abroad opportunities at ECU visit Details regarding the Fulbright Scholar Program can be found at


-by Jamie Smith

Volunteers Needed for Fall Move-In

Campus Living is seeking groups and organizations to assist with Fall 2017 freshmen move-in, which begins at noon on Tuesday, August 15 and runs through Sunday, August 20. They will focus on volunteer efforts Wednesday, August 16 through the end of the day on Friday, August 18.

As in past years, Campus Living will rely on volunteers to assist residents with carrying boxes and furniture, answering questions, providing directions, and, for the first time, assisting with their indoor check-in process.

If you are involved with an organization or group interested in participating, please arrange for a representative to contact Dave Hilbert at They will schedule meetings with representatives of each organization in early July, at which time they will collect each group’s availability. Campus Living will distribute a volunteer schedule and provide additional updates as they approach the week of the move-in.

ECU English graduate student participates in prestigious Washington, D.C. workshop

East Carolina University English student Sarah McKeever was one of only 12 students nationwide selected to participate in a highly-competitive workshop held recently at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.

The library is home to the world’s largest Shakespeare collection and one of the nation’s premier research libraries for Renaissance history, literature and culture.

“I felt incredibly lucky to receive this opportunity, which is a dream come true,” said McKeever, who received her bachelor degree in English from ECU in May and will begin her studies in ECU’s master’s program this fall.

Marianne Montgomery, chair of the Department of English, was thrilled that McKeever was selected to participate in the workshop held June 26-30.

In "the Vault" looking at 400 + year old manuscripts.  This was a surreal, spiritual and elating experience! Left - Sarah McKeever looking at the book. (Photos by Syd Bauerman)

In “the Vault” looking at 400 + year old manuscripts.  This was a surreal, spiritual and elating experience! Left – Sarah McKeever looking at the book. (Photos by Syd Bauerman)

“Sarah was among peers who share her passion for Renaissance literature and had the opportunity to study with top visiting faculty from around the nation,” said Montgomery. “We are proud of Sarah and know that she represented ECU well.”

While at the library, McKeever and other scholars worked in small teams to digitally encode and format early modern dramas not yet included in the digital archives. The authors of the dramas are contemporaries of Shakespeare and their digital presence will supplement the current collection at the library.

“I have been in awe of the Folger Library’s rare collection for as long as I can remember and was excited to step foot within its hallowed walls,” said McKeever. “It was exciting to work directly with the rare manuscripts in the vault’s reading rooms.”

The workshop complemented McKeever’s interests and immersions at ECU. For three years, McKeever has served as an editorial assistant to English professor Dr. Jeffrey Johnson on the John Donne Variorum project, a multi-volume digital anthology of John Donne’s poetry.

In Folger's theatre students acted out a scene from Thomas Middleton's play, "The Roaring Girl.”

In Folger’s theatre students acted out a scene from Thomas Middleton’s play, “The Roaring Girl.”

“Sarah is an imaginative and insightful thinker, one whose intellectual curiosity and intellectual humility are the hallmarks for why she is such an accomplished student, as well as a promising scholar,” said Johnson.

McKeever intends to focus on Renaissance literature in her master’s program.

“ECU has an incredibly stellar Renaissance literature program and faculty, and ECU has been the most fortuitous place that I could have begun my path in early modern literary studies,” said McKeever.

“Familiarity with the treasure-trove of Folger resources will enhance my research in graduate school and greatly inform my interpretations,” said McKeever.

After completing her master’s degree, McKeever wants to pursue a doctoral program. She plans to dedicate her scholastic life to early modern studies and hopes to never cease learning – and perhaps teaching – about its literary works. In addition, she finds digital technology an exciting supplement to literary texts.

“I am very enthusiastic about the development of digital anthologies; their creation being at the forefront of literary innovation today,” said McKeever. “Access to these materials will benefit future scholars in the same ways that they have been beneficial for me.”

For additional information about the Folger workshop, visit,_Tools,_and_Texts_(workshop).



-by Lacey Gray, University Communications

ECU music education major selected for national achievement award

East Carolina University senior music education major Lauren Lewis has been selected as one of this year’s recipients of the Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship and the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. These recognitions are given to college members who have served their NAfME collegiate chapter in an exemplary manner with dedication to NAfME and music education.

Each year two graduating music education students are selected from a national pool for the Kane Scholarship. Lewis is ECU NAfME chapter president.

ECU music education student Lauren Lewis (center) accepts the 2017 Kane Scholarship and Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. Pictured with NC Music Educators Association officers. (contributed photo)

ECU music education student Lauren Lewis (center) accepts the 2017 Kane Scholarship and Collegiate Professional Achievement Award. Pictured with NC Music Educators Association officers. (contributed photo)

In addition, Lewis and fellow ECU music education major Jordan Harris were among 97 college students and more than 200 professional music educators who participated in the NAfME Hill Day Collegiate Advocacy Summit event beginning June 29 in Washington, DC, where Lewis accepted the Kane Scholarship and the professional achievement award. Annually the single largest gathering of music education advocates on Capitol Hill, NAfME Hill Day is imperative to ensuring the continued preservation of school-based music programs across America.

“It was such an honor to be awarded the Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship at this year’s Hill Day Advocacy Summit—Mrs. Kane was such a wonderful inspiration to music educators and to be given an award in her memory was very touching,” Lewis said. “I am so thankful for all of the support given at East Carolina University that allowed me to participate in such an amazing organization such as NAfME and attend Hill Day 2017.”

The Collegiate Advocacy Summit informs prospective young music educators about the most pressing music education policy issues of our time and helps them to engage with music education advocacy.  Hill Day music advocates conduct more than 200 meetings with members of Congress and their staffs each year during the three-day event.

“Hill Day was such a wonderful opportunity for professional development, meeting new people and advocating for music education,” Lewis said. “The sense of community and support gave me the confidence and inspiration to continue working in my own local chapter and advocating in my own state.

“The opportunity to meet future colleagues from across the country, learn from wonderful educators and make a difference in legislature concerning music education was an amazing experience that has made me more excited than ever to become a music educator.”



-by Harley Dartt, University Communications

Brody School of Medicine names associate dean for research and graduate studies

The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University has named one of its first PhD graduates as its new associate dean for research and graduate studies at the Brody School of Medicine.

The appointment of Dr. Russ Price was made following a rigorous national search. Price, who also will serve as professor in the department of biochemistry and molecular biology, will begin his role on Aug. 16.

Dr. Russ Price. (contributed photo)

Dr. Russ Price. (contributed photo)

As associate dean for research and graduate studies, Price will provide leadership for Brody’s extensive research enterprise. He joins ECU at a time when the university is looking to strengthen its research efforts. Chancellor Cecil Staton has stated that increasing extramural research funding is one of his priority goals for the institution.

Since 2012 Price has served as associate vice chair for research in the department of medicine at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. He has been professor of medicine and physiology at Emory since 1991.

“I am really delighted to welcome Russ Price back to the Brody community,” said Dr. Nicholas Benson, the school of medicine’s interim dean. “He has had a very successful career as a scientist with continuing extramural funding and as an administrator for research programs at Emory University. He will bring a new level of expertise in bench research to us that will greatly enrich the science our faculty do here at Brody and across ECU.”

Price said that he is thrilled to be selected for the position, which represents a homecoming for him.

“During the interview process, I was drawn back to ECU by the palpable renewed commitment to research and the desire of the faculty and leadership to build on the current strong foundation at BSOM,” he said. “I am excited about the partnership between BSOM and Vidant Health and the combined efforts to provide communities throughout eastern North Carolina with access to the most up-to-date clinical trials and health care.”

Having authored more than 100 publications and book chapters, Price is a recognized leader in his field. His research is directed towards explaining the mechanisms that cause muscle atrophy in chronic conditions such as end-stage kidney disease and diabetes. He serves on editorial boards for the Journal of Biological Chemistry and American Journal of Physiology – Renal Physiology. He has previously served on the editorial boards of Kidney International and the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. In addition, Price is on the Executive Council for the International Society of Renal Nutrition and Metabolism.

Price will lead Brody School of Medicine's extensive research enterprise. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Price will lead Brody School of Medicine’s extensive research enterprise. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

Before earning his PhD in biochemistry at ECU, Price completed a bachelor’s degree in zoology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in the Laboratory of Cellular Metabolism at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Benson thanked Dr. Jeff Smith for his service as interim associate dean for research and graduate studies since March 2016. Smith is professor emeritus of microbiology and immunology at Brody.

Price’s appointment follows Tuesday’s announcement that the Brody School of Medicine has named Dr. Mark Stacy as its new dean. Stacy begins his role on Sept. 1.



-by Angela Todd, University Communication




Four sworn in as ECU police officers

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

Four new ECU Police officers were sworn in alongside their family and friends on June 21. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

The East Carolina University Police Department gained four new officers as Adrian Baker, Jonathan Bryant, Meagan Johnson and Megan Johnson were sworn in during a ceremony held on Wednesday, June 21 at the Greenville Centre.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Megan Johnson with her brother Chase Johnson.

Joined by friends, family and fellow officers, the newest members took an oath before everyone and received their badge.

Lt. Chris Sutton gave advice to the recruitsin saying, “Service is the rent that we pay for the privilege to live on this Earth,” a quote made famous by Shirley Anita Chisholm.

“That’s a quote that I use when teaching students as they go through their basic law enforcement training (BLET),” Sutton said.

Bearing the same name with different spellings (and no relation), Meagan and Megan Johnson graduated from ECU with bachelors’ degrees in criminal justice. Meagan Johnson completed BLET training at Beaufort County Community College, and worked two years with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office before joining ECU.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

J. Bryant and his sister Latara Johnson listen to Vickie Joyner during the swearing in.

“It’s good to be back. I feel like it’ll be a really good fit for me and I love everybody on the staff already,” Meagan Johnson said. “I’ve wanted to be in law enforcement ever since I was little.”

Megan Johnson completed law enforcement training at Pitt Community College. She holds an associate degree from Louisburg College.

Meagan Johnson with her father Darren Johnson.

Meagan Johnson watches her mother Gail Johnson pin her badge.

After the ceremony, Bryant explained that it was a great feeling to be sworn in. He completed law enforcement training at Craven Community College, where he also earned an associate degree in business. Bryant worked during the past year with the Winterville Police Department. He is also pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business at ECU.

Baker worked with the Kinston Department of Public Safety two years before joining ECU and completed basic law enforcement training at Lenoir Community College.

“They’re going to be great assets for the police department and when we have great assets for the police department, then we have great assets that we can offer to East Carolina University,” Sutton said.

“The service aspect for the job that we do sometimes gets overlooked,” he added. “We need to be mindful of the service role that we play within our communities and never feel like we’re above or beyond being able to offer someone help.”

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.

B. Richardson pins a shield on Adrian Baker.


-by Bre Lewis for ECU News Services

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